AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Janet Mills signed a supplemental budget to fund government operations through the end of June, providing tax cuts to businesses and unemployed Mainers, her office announced Thursday.
The budget means income tax breaks for more than 28,000 businesses and 160,000 unemployed workers. The budget deal was inked by lawmakers early Friday after Republicans rejected an earlier version during two difficult days of debate at the Augusta Civic Center.
“This supplemental budget is the result of a long and, at times, arduous debate,” Mills said. “But ultimately it was sensible compromise on all sides that got it across the finish line.”
Other bills signed into law by Mills require racial impact statements for legislative proposals, give clerks more time to process absentee ballots and eliminate prior approval for school absences for a religious holiday.
The budget bill ultimately passed with near unanimous support. In the end, the House approved the proposal 139-1 and the Maine Senate approved it unanimously.
It provides $100 million so the state can fully mirror the federal government tax exemptions on Paycheck Protection Program loans for businesses and provides $47 million to exempt pandemic unemployment benefits from state income taxes. It also provides $30 million to direct care workers and nonprofit providers, and $100,000 to support veteran services.
BDN writer Michael Shepherd contributed to this report.